Football 3 years ago

Bernie's a Sky Blue

  • Bernie's a Sky Blue

New Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold has wasted no time in his recruitment for next season, with the Sky Blues announcing the signing of his former Central Coast Mariners protégé Berni Ibini on a one-year loan from Chinese Super League club Shanghai Dongya on Monday.

After three impressive seasons on the Central Coast, the 21-year-old Ibini signed a three-year deal with Shanghai almost a year ago and was then loaned back to the Mariners midway through the 2013-2014 A-League season.

"I'm definitely very excited and looking forward to my first season here next year," Ibini said, after posing for photographers in Sydney colours at the Sydney Football Stadium.

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"I'm very happy to be working with Graham Arnold again and having heard his and the club’s big plans for the future, everything is going in the right direction.”

Arnold believes that the Nigeria-native is a key signing for the club and that he will be an instant hit with the Sky Blues faithful.

"Bernie is a great acquisition for the club and I’m convinced he'll be a fan favourite," he said.

"He's an exciting player, a goal scorer and also a Sydney boy. He's just the type of player we need to recruit."

Ibini netted 21 goals in 77 A-League appearances – many of which were as a sub – for the Mariners, but was yet to score for Shanghai in 10 games prior to his return to Australia.

Have your say: Are you excited about the signing of Bernie Ibini?

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